Getting the Word [memory]

Eddrick learns his Status with Nashaki

A blistering desert that stretches for hundreds of miles around Nashaki, with very little relief from the baking heat.

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Eddrick Brodon
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Getting the Word [memory]

Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:00 pm

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Getting the Word
45 Ashan, arc 715

Eddrick had largely forgotten the question of how he stood with the city of Nashaki. A diplomat had been found murdered in Athart, Eddrick's home town. She was a Qi'ora diplomat, and Eddrick had spent a notable amount of time with her. It had made him an easy fall guy for the crime, and whoever really did it had wasted no time putting the blame on him.

It was the final motivation for Eddrick to leave Athart though. He'd been indoctrinated from birth into the propaganda of Athartian culture; that of accepting slavery as a necessary institution. He'd been raised to view it as nothing worse than a tool of fate to deliver hard times upon those that somehow had come to deserve it. There were those that said certain curses of the Immortals brought inevitable slavery upon their victims, and so they were doing nothing worse than the will of these deities.

But Eddrick's eyes had been slowly opening to the horror of what he'd been doing for several arcs now, and to suddenly find himself betrayed by the very culture for which he'd tried to make excuses for so long now was the last straw. He'd "hit the jungles running" as they said in Athart about escaped slaves. But his knowledge of slavers' tactics gave him the edge he needed to make it all the way to the desert.

There, he'd traded the stigma of being a slaver for that of being a bandit. But he was not dissatisfied with the seemingly negligible difference in the level of morality involved. These were all hard men, trained to the harshness of desert life. But they were not brutes, and very few were truly even of a criminal nature. Like Eddrick himself, most had simply had no chance to elude fate plopping them among such peers.

But Eddrick did not resent fate's intervention on his path. He felt as accepted among these ruffians as he'd ever felt among the Athartians. And there were no political agendas here conducive to the betrayals that had run him out of Athart. It was true that virtually everyone he'd encountered while on raids with his new comrades spat words of contempt at him, based upon the easily-recognizable Athartian slaver armor he wore, with its signature red leather look. But the Rahkrii Raiders were different. And those same people had come to know he had now rejected Athart.

Yes, they robbed, yes, they ambushed, yes, they even killed. But the latter was done only as an extreme object lesson, just to show that they were not afraid to resort to such severe measures, when tested by the uncooperative. Many times they took only a portion of what the might, or on some occasions, actually GAVE to some downtrodden group, or at the least, escorted them to a more hospitable location.

They did not rape. Any found guilty of such was dragged to the center-most furnace of the Hotlands and left there to perish slowly and horribly, unless fate intervened. In such cases, they did not pursue a second punishment. They did not need to show themselves as fearsome brigands from whom one was lucky to escape with their life. They had a stronghold the envy of many a small army, and women of sufficient number and attitude. Food was usually one of the prime targets of their wheeling and dealing with caravans and travelers. And water was a feature of the cave system of which their stronghold was comprised.

All in all, they were a free band of outlaws, that rarely committed anything so heinous as to bring the wrath of any locals down upon them, governmental or nomadic. And they were strong in number and loyalty. Eddrick rightfully credited the undisputed leader, Talon, for this accomplishment. The man brooked no nonsense, nor suffered no disrespect, but he also was ready with compassion for the suffering of the less fortunate. He simply viewed it as necessary that he maintain this strength so that he could dispense his code when felt it was warranted.

More than once, some Nashaki caravan owner had pleaded hardship and escaped a full measure of tribute. But Talon sent agents in to follow up on the owner and test the merit of his claim. When he was found to have lied, the next time through The Corridor, Talon stole every last thing from him, including the clothes off his back as punishment. But even then, Talon kept only what he would have kept as usual tribute, and gave out the rest to the needy at the Nashaki market.

It would perhaps be overstating things to say that Eddrick loved Talon. But it would not be overstating anything to say that he was best leader Eddrick had ever known, and that he considered it a privilege to be in Talon's ranks. For his own part, Talon recognized Eddrick's contributions as well, and had lately begun to consult him on the side for an estimate of some strategy's viability. He did this privately so the current Warchief would not become uneasy about his standing.

As Eddrick was helping with the oiling of some metal fittings, he saw one of Talon's messengers approaching, and wondered if this was going to be requested again. But instead the youngster, one of the Rahkrii women's children, informed him that someone had come to see him. Someone no one present knew. If Jeth, the newly acquired medic, had seen the visitor, he might have filled in the gap in information. But for now, Eddrick shrugged and rose to go and see. He did not rush, but wasted no time. He knew if this was an uninvited guest, there would probably be some restraints in effect, and he would want to relieve the fellow of such an indignity.
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Eddrick Brodon
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Re: Getting the Word [memory]

Wed May 01, 2019 5:40 am

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Eddrick wound his way down the twisting paths to find two of the newer men holding a woman in check. He did not recognize her, though she held forth the red cloth with the white swipe through it. There was only person he had given the "Truce cloth" to, and this girl was not her. Rules, however harsh, were in place for just such situations. This person had not been invited and now knew faces, locations, and possibly logistics that would be a liability to the Rhakriis, if she was to return to an enemy.

He met her eyes and she did not flinch; not even even he turned to look at one of the men and shook his head. "I do not know you." he said to the girl, with an air of finality. The man drew his Khukri, a blade designed specifically for the cutting of throats, and brought it to her chin. She spoke in an unbroken voice, a single word, a name, "'Yuli'anyh'.....You knew her.".

The man stayed his knife long enough to meet Eddrick's eyes a second time. He could see by the squint that the name meant something to his Rhakrii brother. Eddrick was clearly trying to remember the significance. The young woman continued, "You asked her to test your status in Nashaki?"

"Yes, but I told her in no uncertain terms not to give the cloth to another in hopes that they would be allowed into our stronghold. I told her that any that did so would be dealt with harshly." He saw that the girl nodded as he spoke, even though the action brought the edge of the blade against her soft throat.

"I was so warned. Yet this death would be far preferable to what would await me had I not come anyway. You are named by all in the diplomatic ranks of Nashaki as a traitor and villain. Yet many within the army do not even know of you at all. I can not speak for all, of course, but those I served did not know your name." Some measure of relief brightened her features as Eddrick signaled the man to sheathe his blade. But she had lost no color to fear.

The girl's comments about the discrepancy in his notoriety struck Eddrick as odd in the extreme, but he kept that to himself. "'served'?" he prompted, "Past tense? You are a slave? So you left knowing you could not return?"

"I was a slave. Now I am a fugitive. And no, I can not return. It would surely mean Yuli'anyh's death. She came under suspicion the moment she began to ask about you. I took it upon myself to flee, as cover to the story that will vindicate her. We agreed to make me the source of her questions, and then I fled. I am not sure what else she may have to do to dissuade suspicion. But if I go back, I will surely be tortured and made to expose her again. She was kind to me, and I found it worth the risk that you would put me to death. Yuli'anyh felt that you might give me a place here in exchange for what else I found out."

"What else HAVE you found out?"

"They say you murdered a diplomat. They say you killed a Shadow Wing to make your escape. They say you are a mage that can twist men's minds with lies, and that you should not be listened to, and surely not believed. They say you are to be killed on sight. Not to be risked being martyred as a spectacle of Nashaki justice. They want it done quietly." her own expression matched the puzzlement displayed on Eddrick's face at the inconsistency of decrying him as some sort of monster, yet wanting him gotten rid of covertly.

"I can see you find this is strange as I." she said. "Always you were loudly vilified initially, yet then treated as something to be swept under the rug. Other accusations of vague offenses were raised at times, some supposedly quite serious. Yet they were always ultimately discounted as something not worthy of an investigation. They said that the current crimes were sufficient for summary execution. But I knew of a couple of low officials that asked to see the records. They were told they were sealed to protect against your magic. I have heard that these officials have had their careers stalled now as well, but this too was done quietly."

It struck him as noteworthy that she did not bargain for assurances before offering up her information. "I take it these officials are the ones Yuli'anyh asked?" he asked, receiving a nod of confirmation. "Yet they too are NOT going to be openly reprimanded for some offense." The girl nodded again, waiting to see if anything he asked would trigger additional details. But it seemed this was all she knew to say.

"What is your name, girl?" Eddrick asked suddenly, his mind made up.

"Fenara, may it please you." she responded, giving a nodded steepling of her hands that spoke of a slave's instincts in protocol.

He took hold of her hands, separating them gently. "You need not stay in the practice of acknowledging any as your masters. While it's true we have ranks; and there are leaders and followers; none here are slaves, Fenara. Yes, you may stay here with us if you wish." He made a motion and the two men released her, the one with the knife even going so far as give her a hug, which she gratefully returned.

Hesitation finally made itself present in her voice as she asked. "Is it...permitted...that I ask if any of it is true?"

Eddrick shrugged, "Case-by-case, I guess I'd say. Not everyone would want to answer that question. And were any of it true, I also may wish to leave it unspoken. Yes, we have legitimate criminals in our ranks. Those facing many arcs of imprisonment as a supposedly fair punishment for stealing a few nels' worth of goods. Some who are truly worthy of such imprisonment, yet seek the chance to atone. Many ex-soldiers, for whom the carnage of war is not easily released. Others we have rejected from our ranks."

Her eyes still asked the question and Eddrick chuckled softly at her persistence, "As for me. It is true that I am accused, but I did none of these things. I just wonder why they added some of this other stuff. For instance there's no way I could have killed one of the Shadow Wings back then. And if I somehow had, the avriel would have pursued me right out into the desert and beyond. They have their alliance with Nashaki, so they go this way often enough. Bu-ut, I guess I have my answer. I am wrongfully accused in both cities. It is just as well. I feel very much at home here, and I believe you will too."

He gave Fenara a one-armed, side-to-side hug and gave her directions and the name of who she should see to make living arrangements within the stronghold. But the incongruities of what the diplomats of Nashaki were saying troubled him. Soon enough though, he went back to what he was doing. There was no point in dwelling on it right now. Perhaps in the future, it might make some difference.
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Re: Getting the Word [memory]

Sun May 05, 2019 5:14 pm


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Thread Review

Eddrick

Eddrick Brodon
Skill Points: +10 (cannot be used for magic)
Magic XP: None.

Renown: +5 (for being known as a fugitive/criminal)

Injuries/Overstepping: None.
Wealth Points: None.
Loot: None.

Skill Knowledges:
  • Intelligence: Even Asking About Eddrick in Nashaki is Dangerous.
  • Intelligence: Odd Differences in the Account of Eddrick's "Crime".
  • Leadership: Enforcing Harsh Rules About "Truce Cloth".
  • Leadership: Talon's Policies Do Not Need to be Changed.
  • Logistics: Non-Soldiers Are Also Useful Faction Members.
  • Persuasion: Giving Requested Info Freely Promotes Belief.
Non-Skill Knowledges:
  • none requested.
Notes: n/a.

Though the first post was mostly premise and set-up, it was enjoyable to read and felt consistent. It was interesting to see how Eddrick's viewpoint on slavery changed and how he first got into banditry.

The inclusion of magic as the reasoning behind the reasons given for how Eddrick's "crimes" were handled was clever. I would hope that Eddrick would be able to clear his name, but it seems like it'd be tough to return to such a society anyway even if they were wrongful accusations. :/

Great job and enjoy your rewards!

PM me if you have any questions, issues or concerns.

Total Word Count: 2269 words.
Review Request Link: viewtopic.php?p=117490#p117490
stampcodehere

word count: 237
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